BURNLEY could open up a six-point gap in second place tomorrow, but Michael Duff insists: “There’s no pressure on us.”
With QPR not playing until Sunday, at home to Reading, and Derby out of action until Tuesday night, the Clarets can increase their cushion in the automatic promotion places with a win at Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth tomorrow.
But Burnley are not struggling under any weight of expectation, according to loyal servant Duff.
The defender says their widespread ‘underdog’ tag has helped their cause, and they are happy for it to stick.
“It’s a good place to be because when the pressure’s not on so much it’s maybe a bit easier to be a bit more free-flowing,” said the 36-year-old, who is in his 10th season at Turf Moor.
“There are some good teams with some good players and some big budgets in this league.
“We’re not expected to be up there and we’ve shown that underdog spirit. I think the supporters have bought into the underdog spirit. We’re hard working and organised.
“I think that’s maybe why, because one thing when you come up here (Burnley) the least they expect of you is to run around and try to win a few tackles.
“But we’ve got a bit of quality with it as well.
“The gaffer talks about this structure to go and play from.
“It’s what we do, it’s how we work.”
But while Burnley have the chance to see advantage grow in the race for automatic promotion tomorrow, after recording a 16th league win and 12th clean sheet at Bolton in midweek, Duff maintains that with 16 games still to be played there is still no need to pay attention to the league table.
“There’s only any point looking at the league table when there are 46 games played and see where we finish,” he said.
“Someone asked whether it was a good result or bad result on Monday night (Derby beating QPR). It doesn’t matter who beats who and who’s got a tough game coming up because it makes no difference if we don’t win our games.
“The gaffer’s said before we try to win every game, we try to stay in every game, and we’ll see where it takes us.
“There is no pressure on us really.
“People have been saying we’re going to blow up for the last 15-20 games now probably and we’re still hanging around.
“We’re confident in what we’re doing, we’ll see where we finish."
Burnley face a reunion with former boss Howe at the Goldsands Stadium tomorrow with only Brian Stock an injury concern.
The former Cherries midfielder is ruled out with a back problem.